Tu B’Shevat is a pretty cool holiday when you think about it.
Come on, we celebrate the earth, the trees, new fruit, give thanks to the land… How often do we really sit back and say, “Earth– Thanks!” We can even say it is a time to stop and smell the roses, literally. Seeing the beauty around us, from the new blossoms on tree branches to the spring rains and longer days.
Many homes have a Tu B’shvat seder, which literally means “order.” Much like the Pesach seder, there is an order to this event of blessing new fruits. For example, you should have fruits or nuts with an inedible outer shell and an edible inner core. This would be an orange, pineapple, pomegranate or an almond. The other would be a fruit with edible outer flesh and pithy, inedible cores such as an olive, apricot or cherry. And finally, a fruit which is totally edible like a grape, strawberry or raspberry.
When I taught religious school, we would teach the students that the seder of the fruit is much like the personalities of a person. Now, bear with me on this one please and follow along.
1. Some people have a tough outer shell but a soft heart, a generous soul.
2. Some have a soft outer persona, but on the inside are strong.
3. Some are “you get what you see” and there is no hiding.
I can place myself into one of these categories in a heartbeat, how about you?
And hey, if you want to wear a tough outer shell with an edible inner core I can always offer you a pomegranate necklace to wear!